Friday, 21 June 2013

9 Easy Things You Can Do to Build Your Brand

Your brand is your business’ very identity. Increasing your brand’s visibility, therefore, is a fundamental component to your marketing strategy. You can spend millions of dollars a year – not to mention an obscene amount of time – propelling your brand to the forefront of the minds of consumers. But are you aware that, thanks to social media, there are a few very easy and non-time consuming ways you can build your brand? 
Without further ado, here, courtesy of branding guru and author, William Arruda, are 9 nine-minute things (along with my own commentary) you can do…      

1.       Build your Network.  It doesn’t have to take hours &hours out of your schedule – even if you just connect with one person a day on Facebook or LinkedIn (it could be someone in one of your LinkedIn groups – or a connection of one of your existing connections), you’ll be amazed at how quickly your network will grow. It is, after all, called “social networking” for a reason!

2.       Bolster relationships.  What good is having a broad network if you do nothing to maintain and nurture it? Stay in contact with your connections. Recommend & endorse connections on LinkedIn. “Like” other brands on Facebook. Send complimentary and/or congratulatory messages to people in your network on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You have to give to receive.

3.       Get a seal of approval. In the culture of social media, it’s about give and take. As you recommend and endorse others, don’t be afraid to request recommendations, endorsements, shares and “Likes” from people in your network. Enlist these from colleagues, satisfied clients and coworkers, past and present.
4.       Record it. Nothing wrong with blowin’ your own horn once in a while either! Document your outstanding accomplishments and achievements for all to see.

5.       Be current. One of the many fine attributes of social media is that they make it so simple to update your profiles as often as is necessary. Unlike websites, social media platforms take only seconds to update. So take advantage of that and ensure that all contact information and status postings are up to date.  And that goes for your photos as well!!

6.       Expand on your thought leadership. Start your own group on Facebook or LinkedIn. If you haven’t already (and shame on you if you haven’t), start a blog and post to it often. Comment on other people’s blogs and answer questions on LinkedIn and Facebook. Post timely and relevant content to Twitter. These are all ways you can showcase your smarts and industry knowledge. Oh, and don’t forget to link your blog to your other social media platforms.

7.       Be real in the virtual world. YouTube is a wonderful thing! Make use of it. Create a video – a bio of yourself or your business - or something that illustrates a facet of your business (a how-to or an informational piece). Go ahead – be a rock star in your own right!

8.       Build a home on the Web.Link the different places you reside on the Web into one place, with sites like,, or Using these tools, you can actually set a site up in nine minutes! Then you can use your subsequent days' nine minutes refining and enhancing it.”

9.       Research. Social media make it easy-peasy! Get to know all you can about your clients, prospects, colleagues and, yes, even - or, especially – your competitors. LinkedIn and Facebook are great places to get some investigating done!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Hotties Need Only Apply?

Abercrombie & Fitch recently came under fire in the media over CEO Mike Jeffries’ unapologetically audacious (and really, really stupid) comments about wanting only thin and beautiful people to wear his clothes. And even more recently, it has surfaced that the company’s “larger” (what, size 6??) female employees were forced to wear ill-fitting “men’s clothing” to work, it would seem as a mode of humiliation or punishment for being heavier than what the company viewed as an ideal weight.

Sounds callous and appalling, doesn’t it? But the kicker is, Abercrombie & Fitch doesn’t appear to be the only company that’s discriminating against the average-looking. There seems to be somewhat of a trend taking place – a trend toward some businesses believing it’s okay to hire based on aesthetics.  For the life of me, I can’t fathom anyone being okay with this demeaning and discriminatory policy. (Not to mention it being a potential lawsuit just waiting to happen!!) But, it is happening, thanks, in no small part, to websites like The way this site (which began as an online dating service) works, is that the only way one can become a member, is to be voted in, based on attractiveness, by existing members. 

What does this have to do with employers hiring hotties only, you ask? Well, the site recently added a new feature for employers looking to recruit beautiful employees only. The slogan on their website reads, “An attractive face is always a great first impression for any business.” 

I don’t know about you, but I think my first impression of any business that would integrate its hiring practices with such superficial frivolity, would be that I would not want to do any business at all with them.
Don’t get me wrong, I love to gander at a Johnny Depp look-alike as much as the next girl, but in a world where we’re seeing an increasing amount of discrimination and intolerance, do we really need to see it being carried over into the professional realm? Would I hire him solely based on the fact that he’s so hot? I think not.

Where do you stand? Would you hire someone simply because you like the way they look?